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Sea Lions Nursed Back To Health To Be Released Tuesday

Photo caption: Sea lion pup enjoys the ocean view at The Marine Room, Feb. 4, 2016.

Photo credit: Bernard Guillas

Sea lion pup enjoys the ocean view at The Marine Room, Feb. 4, 2016.

Several sea lions nursed back to health at SeaWorld San Diego, including a pup found sleeping in a booth at the oceanfront Marine Room restaurant in La Jolla, are scheduled to be returned to the ocean Tuesday.

Marina was dehydrated and malnourished when she was discovered on Feb. 4 at the restaurant. She weighed just 20 pounds, half of what she should, according to park officials. She also had an eye injury that has since healed.

During her two months in rehabilitation, Marina also gained 25 pounds and displayed an ability to forage for food, which is necessary for survival in the wild.

SeaWorld San Diego has taken in more than 300 marine mammals already in 2016, with 150 to 200 rescues recorded in an average year. Sea lion pups have found it particularly difficult to find food with the El Niño conditions, park officials said.

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